How To Tame An Aggressive Dog
If your dog shows aggressive behaviour, you would want to understand why the sudden behaviour change and how to change the behaviour. This can be tackled only by understanding the reason behind the behaviour and training the dog adequately.
This problem can also occur when you get a rescue dog from a shelter, as its background may be why it has developed this issue. If you are new to dog parenting and not ready to tackle such cases, you can get a puppy instead from puppies for sale as they are not aggressive if well trained from the beginning.
If you are looking to help an aggressive dog to calm down, the tips below might help.
Understand When the Dog Gets Aggressive:
You have to understand the reason why the dog is getting aggressive first. There can be various factors such as fear, possessiveness, being a guard, territorial aggression, or while meeting strangers. Once you learn the source, it gets easier to understand the root cause of these issues. A few of these causes can be easily handled without getting a behaviour consultant involved. Instead of correcting this behaviour, nib it at the bud, which will eliminate the entire issue.
Remember, a dog can get irritated and aggressive if it is in pain; hence if the behaviour is all of a sudden, get it checked by a vet to ensure your dog is healthy.
Get Help from a Licensed Dog Behaviour Consultant:
If your dog is getting aggressive, you need to understand why that is happening. Jumping into training will correct the behaviour, but you must learn about the source first. This is where you should consult a behaviour consultant who will help you understand the root cause of the dog’s aggression. If it is something that can be eliminated from the dog’s environment, then the issue can be tackled easily.
Use Precautionary Measures:
Just relying on behaviour modification is not enough, especially if your dog has a history of aggression. The dog can still have aggressive outbursts, which need to be controlled. Hence, use precautionary measures like placing a muzzle on its snout, keeping them in a playpen or gating the room, and always using a leash when you take the dog outside.
Give Your Dog a Loving Environment:
If a dog is happy, it will be more friendly with others. If the dog does not get to live in a home that offers a loving and caring environment, it can adversely affect the dog’s mental health. Such dogs can be more anxious and aggressive towards others due to a lack of social skill development. This is why ensure you offer the dog the best home possible for its mental development.
Keep the Dog Active:
The main reason for aggression in several large breed dogs can be high energy pent up inside. Giving them enough workouts means they get tired physically. This calms them, and you will find them snoozing most of the day. If a large breed dog is not well exercised, it has all this energy that needs to be burned. Hence, they will show bad behaviour and also aggression at times.
Understand the Aggression Level of the Dog:
Different stages of dog aggression can show the severity of the situation. If you see signs such as turning away. Creeping, excessive noise licking, then it means the dog is tensed. If you overlook such signs, the dog may move to higher aggression levels and start growling, snarling, or worse, biting. You need to observe the level of aggression and can also seek professional help to understand the same.
Use A Muzzle:
Using a muzzle may seem like a sign of cruelty, but it is not. Muzzles can be a great safety tool for protection. It will prevent your dog from biting strangers, which could otherwise have severe consequences. Ensure the muzzle you choose is designed so your dog can breathe, eat, pant, and drink properly.
Don’t Punish the Dog:
While we may assume that punishing a dog means it will not repeat the mistake again, it actually does not work that way. The use of punishment will only aggravate the behaviour. Aggressiveness can signify anxiety and fear, which only increases if you punish the dog. You should instead focus on building the dog’s confidence level through positive reinforcement, which will help the dog get rid of the aggressive behaviour.
Keep a Record of Your Dog’s Behaviour:
Keep a notebook where you write down your dog’s mood every day. This will help you identify trigger points that cause aggressive behaviour. Note down things like time of the day, events that happened before and after, and your response to the aggression and stimuli. This record will help the canine behaviour consultant better understand your dog, and the corrective measures can be formed accordingly.
Do Not Invade Your Dog’s Space:
Like humans, dogs do not like when their personal space is invaded. Especially if you are a new owner, the dog may show aggression if you try to show affection when relaxing. If you see the dog snarl when you try to go near it sometimes, better let it be. Let the dog come to you for affection instead. Your dog may take some time to become comfortable with you going towards it to show love. This may be related to past traumatic experiences; hence, you need to provide a nurturing environment to the canine friend to earn the dog’s trust.
Understand the Breed’s Temperament:
A few dog breeds are known to be more aggressive than others. For example, Chihuahua is a small dog breed but is considered aggressive in many situations as they feel threatened due to their small size; hence, they easily bark and snarl. A few species are over-friendly such as retrievers. Though each dog is different, learning about their breed may also give you some insight.
The Bottom Line:
Dogs, like humans, show signs of aggression out of irritation and discomfort. Punishing them for such a response can only worsen their condition. To help your dog to attain a healthier lifestyle emotionally and mentally, follow the above-mentioned aggressive training tips.